As Social Media begins to dominate the Marketing Industry, it has also become the key growth factor for multiple SME’s and large brands online.
Harnessed properly, the power of brand awareness and conversion brought in by Social Media can lead to exponential growth, but the first step lies in producing engaging content.
Here are 10 tips to help you achieve maximum engagement on your posts:
1. Deciding Which Social Platforms to Choose?
For a business with limited resources, it is difficult to effectively allocate their time across all social media platforms and it is thus critical to recognize which platforms align appropriately with the marketing goals at that time and offer maximum potential engagement.
Each platform requires varying types of Ad Copies and content but also serve a range of unique benefits and audiences.
To figure out whether the platform is right for you, check whether the demographics match the brand, if the audience is active on there and whether the competition is also engaging ads campaigns their following on the platform.
With Facebook, you get a wide user base with a comprehensive Ads Manager that provides deep insights and analytics while being compatible with several mediums (text, photo, video and VR)
LinkedIn will provide access to a demographic of professionals falling under a certain age limit with an emphasis on formal interactions, helping brands in their B2B leads and industry visibility.
Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat serve best the businesses that rely heavily on short, visual and attractive content to target younger demographics and look towards the visibility boost that they offer.
Choosing wisely between these will provide you with a streamlined audience and leaner Ad Spend, allowing for increased engagement on the prioritized platforms.
2. Setting up an Engagement Funnel
If you’re working on a tight budget with a relatively new page, jumping right into a basic, direct conversion funnel will be pricier and an unwise use of your promotion budget, so what’s the alternative?
Firstly, you have to create a piece of content that is engaging to a wide audience and will introduce them to the product/brand, creating general awareness.
This will take the form of an engagement campaign that targets the ideal customer and pushes that content (video, for example) across their feeds to identify the flaws or modifications needed to optimize the campaign.
One tool that can take your campaign’s effectiveness further is SocialBu as applying a combination of their features - Social Listening and Automation - will allow you to introduce new relevant hashtags in each campaign and as users begin to mention it, you will not only be notified of and be able to track those conversations but also, automate responses to those mentions.
Next will come the campaign that will target those customers that interacted with the content for a certain duration (such as 25% or more of a video) and these will have 3-5x the probability of conversion compared to those ‘cold users’ interacting with your message for the first time.
3. Creation of Sales Funnel
If we take a look at the type of customers that interact with Google Ads versus those that interact with Facebook Ads, we see people that are (generally) active in seeking out a purchase compared to the FB users that will take a while to make up their minds on a purchase and might still move onto the next piece of content in their feed.
Different consumer behaviors call for different conversion strategies and herein lies the importance of two types of funnels: Conversion and Engagement.
The engagement funnel discussed earlier will help you in minimizing your ad spend as now, only a fraction of the profiles that would be targeted based on demographics will see your content and these are the ones more likely to be converted into leads.
The conversion funnel will execute your goal of bringing traffic to your website plus generating leads and provide you valuable insight about your audience, helping you in further optimizing your lookalike audiences and deciding on your key audience.
It does this by providing insight into the profiles of people that are led to your website, along with how they browse and accordingly, you can decide how to modify your campaigns to successfully funnel those warm customers that might be abandoning on the ‘add to cart’ phase, right to the checkout button!
4. Eliminating ‘Spam’ Behavior
One pet peeve that almost all social media users share is their annoyance with Ads that relentlessly pop up in their feeds and this high repetition results in them ‘muting’ or blocking the brand from further communications, an obvious blow to the conversion cycle.
To counter this, one key statistic is the Ad Frequency- the number of times an ad campaign is seen by each individual user. The viewing on multiple occasions will aid customer recall but the fine line dictates even once too many will tick them off and as such, a frequency cap is vital to set.
This cap will dictate the maximum number of times the ads are shown to users and will tell you whether a new set of people need to be targeted or the ads must be changed, depending on whether the audience is saturated or not.
5. Keeping Your Engagement Numbers Static
An ad shows up in your feed as a sponsored post: a few likes and no comments. What do you do?
Most of would move on as the social media game upholds, to an unholy standard, the importance of likes and comments, which act as a superficial testament to the brand’s popularity, quality and reputation.
While you might disagree with these standards, there is something you can do to work with it while keeping on changing your ad content on the hunt for optimization.
On Facebook, go to the Ads manager and choose ad previews for a running ad.
Click the box with an arrow and select FB post with Comments. Copy the URL’s ending numbers (these are the unique post identifiers).
Then create a new FB Ad and click Use Existing Post. In the box, paste the ID (Numbers from URL of Existing Ad) and Submit.
And voila, you have a brand-new ad that still has all the previous comments and likes from your last ad.
This will make the ad set look more popular with users plus attractive to any potential customer that comes by it in their feed and makes it more likely for them to interact with it.
6. Putting out Fresh Content
In the case of any brand thriving online, we can observe a dynamic set of topics, sources and mediums being utilized to provide an engaging and relevant set of content.
There are multiple avenues that you can consider for producing your own unique and fresh content:
Posts specifically soliciting customer responses such as QnA’s or Polls that will allow viewers to have their opinion valued and heard while also boosting the post’s popularity by providing visibility in their circle.
Sharing the content of your users in the form of reshares, reposts or quotes will allow those customers to feel valued, have others aspire to have their posts shared and the gamification of this in the form of giveaways will lead to even more exposure with a large influx of posts.
If your posts are visually appealing and eye-popping, users across all platforms are more likely to engage but for video posts, even more important is the captions as videos in Feed are generally auto played without sound and it is easy to glaze over them.
This calls for a concise, engaging caption and/or text embedded in the first 3 seconds of a video with phrases such as ‘SOUND ON’ or “Don’t keep scrolling” that are sure to capture the attention of the audience.
7. Selecting Your Audience
Once you pair the ad’s content to the proper audience, your campaign is on the track to success. To do so, you have to first recognize and define your audience.
For the case of having no previous data, start by guesstimating the age and gender of your typical users. After that, you can add even more factors such as household income, age of children, purchase histories and liked pages to further narrow down your list of potential audiences.
One key factor that’s importance is constantly overlooked in filtering is location.
Many businesses will begin by targeting the whole city and surrounding areas, but the smarter route is using Facebook’s Advanced Targeting Mechanisms that allow you to setup your own location as the epicenter of ads and revolve the strength/frequency of ads around.
This will allow you to not only target the residents of the locality but also the ones that recently travelled to/are currently roaming around the area, depending on whether your focus is on tourists, residents or general walk-in customers.
8. Optimal Ad Placements
Considering a study that finds 80% of social media usage is conducted on mobile phones, one of the most critical factors to consider while setting up a campaign on Facebook and other social media platforms is their placement.
To create engaging ads campaigns that will reach the maximum number of users, be sure to select automatic placements for your ads as data analytics for Facebook will automatically decide the best mix of displays on their platforms: Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.
This will ensure your ads are shown most on the platforms’ areas where your audience is most likely to give their time: be it during videos, banner ads or Instagram Stories.
Choosing to run campaigns on certain device types such as only Android Phones will also result in lower cost but ensure the testing on mobile devices happens before deploying these ad sets.
9. Researching Your Keywords
Discussing Google Ad Campaigns on AdWords, arguably the most important aspect after content is the keywords that are being used and targeted for Search Engine Optimization.
With SEO research being a field in itself, the need-to-know basics are simply these: Start by brainstorming relevant keywords for your brand/product/location or look at the pages of your competitors to find inspiration.
From these, develop long-tail keywords (Specific Phrases with multiple words) and use tools such as UberSuggest, Keywords Everywhere or Moz to help narrow down your list, get analytics for keywords and transpose them onto Excel Spreadsheets.
According to the analytics, choose keywords with the lower cost-per-clicks and higher search volumes. This essentially means that there is a high amount of people interested in this specific item but the competition amongst Ad bidders for it is low (rare case and usually involves a trade-off between these.)
10. The Pull of Remarketing
People are busy and easily distracted.
These are two facts of life that marketers should address while developing their ad campaigns as even if you have the most engaging ad campaigns with the best optimized funnel, what if someone abruptly leaves the sales cycle?
Did you just lose a customer for no reason?
Not really. With the help of a nifty trick in the arsenal of digital giants such as Google and Facebook, remarketing is one strategy that will revive leads and is an essential part of the marketing mix of today.
In the case of AdWords, you will have potential customers that click on the Google Ad and view your product line yet don’t make a purchase, but this case still has hope as you can use remarketed ads to target these exact people with a fresh set of ads that are more likely to hook them into purchase and return to your website.
There are multiple ways to execute remarketing with AdWords such as: Standard, Dynamic, Remarketing Lists, Video and Customer Lists. All of these serve to differentiate between who the ads will be retargeting and with what medium.
Creating engaging content is a complicated task but one achievable through consistency and effective decision-making in resource allocation through comprehensive research via analytics.
The usage of a combination of tools such as Moz, UberSuggest, and SocialBu will help you in devising and narrowing keywords for campaigns plus automating the campaign’s follow-up responses so that you can focus on the content and only perform tweaks to them when needed.
So, get out there, make mistakes, and learn from them and Keep Creating!
Author: Julian Scott